88Pro Thinking

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Saturday, September 10, 2005

Ruby with Sam

I attended Ruby on Rails tutorial session conducted by Sam Ruby . I have long ago heard about Ruby and in year 2003 I was evaluating between Ruby and Python but at that time I made the choice to go ahead with Python(Check this forum post on the discussions I had with Matt).

I really wanted to go for this tutorial since

1. Wanted to see Sam Ruby in action :-)
2. Wanted to hear his perspective on Ruby and Rails.

He is pretty much impressed with Ruby and its capabilities. As a novice after writing a small data crunching script in Ruby I am very much impressed, especially with blocks. He is a dynamic language expert and he has been using Perl and python for many years, where Perl was his choice when he wanted a quick hack and python was when he wanted a hack which he will have to go and read and may be update in two weeks time :-)(Since Perl being a language after two weeks even yourself can’t understand your own programs sometimes) Now what’s interesting to me is, he think Ruby is both suitable for quick hack since it has the power of Perl and also its suitable for writing larger scripts which needs to be maintained over time.

At the end of the session few of us had a small chat with him and one asked whether he thought ruby is here to stay or it’s just hype. He believes that ruby is here to stay (Tim Bray from Sun motioned that in his blog too). Also Sam Ruby, said his job responsibility at IBM to look and see where things are heading in next 5 years time. One example he mentioned was that he started working PHP, plug in for Apache as back as 1999 and only now IBM has got around recognizing PHP is going mainstream. Now he thinks Ruby or Ruby related frameworks might be the next big thing in 5 years time down the lane.

My advice, if you are looking around to find out what’s the next thing you need to invest your time in learning, probably it doesn’t hurt to dive into Ruby and frameworks like Rails. As an added bonus when you learn a language you tend to looks at problem differently in different angles.

He is rewriting his blog tool in Ruby now (initially it was written in Python) and as he writes and improves his application he is blogging his progress.

Sam Ruby mentioned that some guys who converted their Java web applications to Ruby on Rails realized, not only the Rails application was smaller than Java application, it was even smaller than Java’s XML configuration files (web.xml, struts_config.xml)


Ruby On Rails
Sam Ruby: Rails Confidence Builder – First post on his effort to building a blog tool to evaluate the power of Ruby.
Key note slides at FOSSL
Tim Bray’s first impression on Ruby
10 things every Java Programmer should know about Ruby
Is Rails Ready for Prime Time?
Ruby success stories

Disclaimer: All what I have said here is my interpretation of his tutorial session and the small discussion we had.

posted by 88Pro / Saturday, September 10, 2005

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